Protesters Hold Vigil Against Restaurant With Mural Of Palestinian Terrorist
(JTA) — Protesters gathered outside of an Arab-style bakery and restaurant in Oakland, California to protest a life-size mural in the shop featuring convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh.
Sunday’s vigil also protested a book reading and signing by Sunaina Maira, an Asian-American studies professor at the University of California, Davis of her new book about boycotting Israeli academic institutions, the East Bay Times reported.
The vigil is part of a series of protests against the mural by a group called Oakland United Against Hate, the newspaper reported.
“In Oakland, a community devastated by violence, this kind of glorification of terror and violence is just inappropriate, so we’re here to express our dissatisfaction,” protester Faith Meltzer told the East Bay Times. “This is about hate in our community, the normalization of violence in our community — and that’s why we’re here.”
About 15 people from local social-justice groups, including the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, who support the eatery, monitored the protest. Several months ago, owner Reem Assil filed a restraining order against at least one of protesters.
Odeh spent 10 years in an Israeli prison for her role in a 1969 bombing attack at a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe. Israel jailed Odeh for life, but she was released in a prisoner exchange in 1980 and immigrated to the United States from Jordan. She has said her confession to the bombing was the result of severe torture by Israeli security forces.
Odeh obtained her U.S. immigrant visa in 1994 and her citizenship in 2004. In both applications, she failed to disclose her arrest and convictions in the bombings. She pleaded guilty to falsifying her immigration applications. She was deported to Jordan in September.